The Big Ideas Homelessness Network is a community collaborative steering group made up of representatives from the community and agencies who have a vested interest in ending homelessness in Newcastle and the Hunter region.
The Network is facilitated by Compass Housing Services.
Why a network?
In March 2017, Compass Housing Services hosted a public event in Newcastle, Ending Homelessness: The Big Ideas, where a group of speakers presented to the community on existing concepts to end homelessness in our region.
The Network was formed to continue the momentum.
The Big Ideas Homelessness Network is now meeting regularly to identify the key challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness and the agencies that support them. Current topics include mental health services, the role of the business community and longer term housing solutions.
The Network is currently working on a proposal for a Common Ground facility in Newcastle. A sub-committee has been formed to develop a collaborative strategy to progress this idea and make it a reality for our region.
Unlike most cities in Australia, Newcastle does not currently have a mental health assertive outreach program. The loss of funding for the previous program (Reaching Home) has had a considerable impact on the region and the Network is looking at options to assist with potential reinstatement of a similar program.
The Network is launching a community pledge to focus interest, advocate for change and coordinate the many efforts required to achieve our ambition of ending homelessness in Newcastle and the Hunter. Businesses, organisations and individuals are invited to join/commit to the pledge with a collective objective to ensure our actions work towards providing solutions to end homelessness and increasing awareness and education.
Staff from the University of Newcastle have previously been involved in a study to examine and determine the level of homelessness services integration within and between service providers and systems in Queensland. The Network is currently looking at funding opportunities to conduct a similar study in Newcastle and the Hunter region.
The Network is exploring opportunities for the development of an App that would provide a 'digital vault' for people experiencing homelessness to store vital documents.